Solar Systems Explained..

How it works - a typical system

A solar system comprises of several major components, each critical to its normal function. The infographic below provides some high level detail about these components, and what their role is in the wider solar system.

The solar array - the array captures the suns photons, inducing an electrical potential across the solar cells by leveraging the 'photoelectric' effect - an electrical current starts to flow.

The inverter converts DC electrical energy from the array into AC electrical energy. This is used in our homes and offices and is 'matched' to the grid supply provided by your energy supplier.

The inverter

The national grid

The solar array

The consumer unit

This is where all of your 'final circuits' terminate to the grid supply - sometimes referred to as the 'fuse board'. We'll need to connect your inverter to this with a new circuit to enable you to export electrical energy and provide constant power to the inverter.

The Energy Storage System (ESS)

The ESS (e.g. a battery system) stores electrical energy for a time when you are not producing energy from the solar array, such as in the evening or early in the morning. Installing a battery can save you more money, despite a higher upfront cost.

This is where electrical energy is imported from the grid to service your property. It is also where any excess electrical energy that can't be used is distributed . E.g. if there is no ESS system, or the ESS system is full. A well specified system will reduce your demand considerably and save you money on your bills.

Our sun, the most abundant source of natural energy known to mankind. At ground level, the available photon energy is around 960W per m^2. With an average panel efficiency, this means around 192W per m^2 is up for grabs.

Energy source